I asked my students to write some testimonials about how Tai Chi has changed and improved their lives, health, mental and physical well being etc. I found them inspiring, I hope you do too.

I thought you gave a great class today and I felt I wanted to tell you this. When I got up this morning I have to say that I was unsure if I would attend the class. I suffer from anxiety outbreaks early in the morning (since I developed this heart condition) and felt quite bad today. I am SO happy that I decided to join you. Your class was varied, stimulating, enjoyable and curative. I felt completely different when I left Swannington and I just wanted to thank you. 

Susan Sutton - Swannington Class

Thanks for your input and guidance this term Laraine, very much appreciated. The sessions have given me a bit of dedicated space to switch off, de-clutter a tendancy to overthinking and confirm that my physical-self is still in tact after significant injury. 

LW - Birstall Class

In a nutshell I will explain  how Tai Chi has influenced and improved my wellbeing:  I have been practising Tai Chi for more than 4 years. The mindful movements of arms and legs, bearing in mind the rotation of the torso have improved my swimming teaching in the water. I can move with subtlety and grace. My breathing is synchronised with my movements making it easy and rhythmic.  My legs are strong and toned. The rotation of the spine improves the back and keeps it flexible. The endorphins generated by the slow and synchronized movements gives the feeling of stress relief and last but not least i feel happy and energetic after a tai chi session. I really enjoy performing the sword form and miss practising the staff. 

Tereza Beardsmore - Rushey Mead Class

I have been training at the Birstall Methodist Church room for almost six years now and have nothing but praise for Laraine.  She is a brilliant teacher with a great sense of humour and I always look forward to Tuesday afternoons.
I feel that apart from making me quite fit, I feel so relaxed with such a pleasant group of people. I would certainly recommend that anyone who is interested in taking up Tai Chi should sign up to this group.

Jean Oakhill - Birstall Class

I really get a lot out of Laraine’s classes. Having a hip condition I wanted to improved my mobility as well as build up muscle strength and improve balance as well as overall suppleness.  I have found the classes ideal.  Tai Chi works in a gentle way but is strong and this works for me. Laraine is an excellent teacher - attentive and clear with a deep knowledge of Tai Chi.

JA - Rushey Mead Class

I contacted Laraine for a chat about potentially starting Tai Chi, as I had some reservations because I had been suffering from sciatica and back pain for a number of years; I found her to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful!  Since starting 4 months ago I have found Tai Chi not only to be a good form of exercise, but it has relieved my back pain significantly, to the extent that I have only had a couple of spells of having to take pain killers in the last couple of months, which is a dramatic reduction!  I wish I had started Tai Chi many years ago as I thoroughly enjoy it and I find the overall health benefits enormously helpful.  

VMN - Kirby Bellars Class

I was referred to Tai Chi by the doctor following a replacement knee operation, but what I have discovered is my elbows and shoulder blades! I have learned how every part of the body is related and needs to work to support every other part. It is a mental and physical workout which can be applied to every part of life.

JS - Swannington Class

I have had a lifetime of back problems following an accident in my 20s, culminating in 2 operations in my late 50s. I was left with numbness in my lower right leg and foot, causing issues with my balance and varying degrees of pain in my right leg, foot and hip. Over many years I have had much Physiotherapy, tried Acupuncture, going to the gym, Pilates, Yoga etc. Some 4 years ago I joined the String Of Pearls Tai Chi Classes and now I cannot imagine my life without Tai Chi. I still have the numbness, but am now almost pain free and my balance has much improved.

The Qigong “Warm-up” exercises are very enjoyable and have improved my flexibility; my stance and general posture have also gradually improved. “The Form” is a bit more tricky but, with repetition, has improved and is now much more fulfilling, although refinement must always be possible. Laraine is very patient and caring and ensures that no one does more than they should, while encouraging you to achieve as much as you can.

For me, the concentration required to try to accomplish both the “Qigong and the “Form” occupies both mind and body such that life’s issues are usually forgotten for the duration of the class and confer an on-going mental, as well as physical benefit.

SM - Kirby Bellars Class 

I have practised Tai Chi/Qi Gong with Laraine for the past 7 years, both at the Evington class and the last 5 years at Birstall Class. Having suffered for many years with lower back weakness and ongoing sciatica as a result of my occupation I have found that Tai Chi has given me a better posture, stronger limbs and much more flexibility.

It took a while to get used to relaxing the different parts of my body that were in tension constantly and to just let go. I would describe Tai Chi as “feeling” rather then “doing”, this all takes time and I would suggest it requires a lot of patience to see results....perseverence  in the key. Being able to now “switch off” the mind and allow the body to absorb the relaxation and benefits of Tai Chi has been so worth the effort.

So thank you Laraine for being supportive and dedicated to your teaching of others.

Lynda Small - Birstall Class

I decided to attend a Tai Chi class some 10 years ago after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I consider myself very fortunate in that,that local class was run by Laraine. She has excellent knowledge of how the body works and instills confidence in us to try each movement but only to the point at which we feel comfortable. She always keeps a watchful eye on us so that we don't put any strain on our joints. Laraine is an excellent teacher with a thorough knowledge of her subject and a good sense of humour to help us grasp the movements.

I feel very indebted to her, for not only has Tai Chi helped me keep my mobility it has also helped me mentally through a very stressful period of my life.I use some of its postures every day whilst going about my everyday chores and so putting less strain on my joints.  I look forward to every lesson and always come home feeling refreshed and relaxed. Thank you Laraine.

ST - Swannington Class


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